- Title: Iraqi forces secure the town of Bartella
- Date: 22nd October 2016
- Summary: BARTELLA, NEAR MOSUL, IRAQ (OCTOBER 22, 2016) (REUTERS) PLUME OF SMOKE RISING IN BACKGROUND, SPECIAL FORCES ON ROAD SPECIAL FORCES LOOKING AT SMOKE RISING TANK DRIVING UP ROAD SOLDIERS IN TANK WAVING AT CAMERA AS THEY PASS VARIOUS OF DESTROYED BUILDINGS AND DEBRIS VARIOUS OF MORE SPECIAL FORCES ARRIVING SOLDIERS SITTING ON BENCH SPECIAL FORCES ON ROAD / SMOKE RISING IN BACKGROUND
- Embargoed: 6th November 2016 12:56
- Keywords: Bartella Islamic State Christian Assyrian Iraq
- Location: BARTELLA, IRAQ
- City: BARTELLA, IRAQ
- Country: Iraq
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Military Conflicts
- Reuters ID: LVA00155357IF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The Iraqi town of Bartella was littered with debris and rubble on Saturday (October 22) as special forces moved in to secure the area.
A cautious calm has returned to the historic Christian area in northern Iraq following its recapture from Islamic State on Thursday (October 20) as Iraqi forces push west towards Mosul, the jihadists' last major stronghold in the country.
But it will be some time before people can return to the town, which witnessed intense fighting on Thursday between Islamic State and troops from the counter-terrorism service (CTS) which are spearheading the Mosul offensive along with Kurdish Peshmerga forces and Iraq's army and national police.
The jihadists dispatched more than a dozen vehicle-borne IEDs against government forces in the span of a few hours, Iraqi commanders said, but they left many more planted throughout the town's streets and buildings.
The road west into Bartella is now littered with the remnants of that battle: bullet casings, deactivated improvised explosive devices (IEDs), shrapnel from car bombs and roadside blasts.
Bartella, once home to thousands of Assyrian Christians, emptied in August 2014 when Islamic State seized control as part of a lightning blitz across large swathes of Iraq and neighbouring Syria.
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